Pic: Refereeing at a WGU Championship
At its meeting last week, the ACA Board appointed Bruce McAllister as National Coordinator of Gateball Refereeing. Bruce was selected from a field of three high quality applicants, all of whom had much to offer the Gateball Community in administering this specialised aspect of the game.
Bruce has been on the Gateball scene for almost 20 years. His first exposure to the game in the early noughties came through his parents-in-law, who were early adopters of the game at the Ipswich CC. They had managed to co-opt Bruce’s son into playing too! But, because he was working long hours, it took a while before Bruce decided to go along. His intention at the time was primarily to play with his son and in-laws. He remembers that it did not take long before he was engaged in playing at the small circuit of competitions at Queensland Clubs, which included McIlwraith, Ipswich and Rockhampton.
Keith McCleod, the first National Director, moved from Victoria and started playing at Broadbeach. He encouraged Bruce to apply to be the Queensland Director of Gateball from 2005. Bruce held this role for 13 years.
Although the first priority at the time was to grow the game, the WGU also encouraged Gateball Australia to develop a refereeing system. At the 2005 Australian Championship in Mossman about 10 players (3 Vics, 1 NSW and 6 Qld) were given a written exam by Jun Nogami from the WGU and, on passing, deemed to be referees. Bruce was one of that number and went on from here to provide practical support for Keith McLeod as they developed the foundations of our current GA system: Levels 1 and 2 and a practical component, for which Bruce was a strong advocate.
At the AGC in Rockhampton 2009, three Australian players, including Bruce, took the International Referee Examination. Two of this trio were the core of a group of Australian Referees that formed a team to officiate at the 2014 World Gateball Championships in Japan.
Since those early days, as Qld Director of Gateball and more recently as a member of the Gateball Australia Referee Committee, Bruce has been an advocate for the maintenance and improvement of our standards and for there to be processes in place which are known and followed by all.
In his new role Bruce has thought about a few general directions, which include:
– continuing to develop the role of the GA Referee Committee.
– continuing to align GA processes with those of other codes of mallet sports and Sports Australia processes
– implementing and reviewing GA processes
– conducting a review of processes around International Referees
– referee training course
– recorder training course
– on-line referee theory exam
– on-line referee practical training
– on-line referee practical assessment
Over the next month or two the NCGB and the NCGBR will complete a handover of GA referee functions.